Not the Steven Spielberg blockbuster, this Lost World is a splendid 2001 BBC TV dramatization of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous adventure story. Bob Hoskins makes an unusually genial Professor Challenger, far less of a bu... more »lly than Doyle's character, but his slightly stereotyped companions are nicely filled out by a solid cast. James Fox is Challenger's more timid but still covertly adventurous rival, Tom Ward is the mustachioed big-game hunter who faces an allosaur with an elephant gun, and Matthew Rhys plays the tagalong reporter hoping to impress his faithless fiancée. As usual, the adaptation adds a woman--orphaned jungle girl Elaine Cassidy--to the expedition, and an interesting villain (religious fanatic Peter Falk) beefs up the travelogue by marooning Challenger's gang on the South American plateau where dinosaurs, cavemen, and Indians coexist eventfully. The Walking with Dinosaurs-style effects work well for the TV frame, but the real success is in integrating the adventuring with subtle eco-awareness, complex character interplay, and the reliable wonder of soaring pteranodons and carnosaur attacks. --Kim Newman« less
Captain Hornblower | Orlando, Florida USA | 10/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you didn't see this wonderful Lost World minseries A&E did, buy the DVD or video. Or do like I did-buy it after having seen it on A&E. It was spectacular, by far the best film adaptation I have seen of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel. No, it doesn't stay true to the novel (face it, few films ever stay true to the novels they are based on), but the differences actually make the story enjoyable and interesting in its own right separate from the novel. The changes from the novel include the following: 1) Professor Challenger-in the book, he is not at all a likeable character, and is not meant to be, but in the film, they made him more amenable, yet still kept much of his stubborness and self-righteousness. It was a good compromise for the purpose of viewer accetability of a main character. 2) Agnes Clooney-the female member of the team in the film was not in the novel, but is still a welcomed addition. She is a more liberated woman in some ways, but it isn't done over the top so she is beating up savages and shooting up things (she isn't Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, and that type of character wouldn't have fit in this story). Rather, Agnes as a character does fit a woman living in her circumstances in that time. 4) The Demented Reverend-He wasn't in the book either, but I actually think he wasn't a very good addition. I'm kind of sick and tired of this cliched evil missionary character who kills in the name of the lord. Its been done to death. Thought, admittedly, Peter Faulk played this character very well, and did instill in him more soul and complexity than most of these evil missionary stereotypical characters get in most films. One thing I really liked about this film was how it was an action/adventure story, but it also made you think about what was going on in the story. It had some really good things to say about man's interaction with nature, and preservation of the environment against exploitation. Challenger, towards the end of the film, makes a comment about science often not being accessible to the public at large without it being dressed up a bit as entertainment. This is exactly what this film does in some ways. It presents and entertaining, engrossing adventure, but also presents interesting scientific thoughts about ecology. Just what can happen when man starts mucking about and disturbing the balance of nature? And the answer to that question wasn't entirely clear in one circumstance. The dispute between Challenger's point of view versus Lord Roxton's view on what to do with the Ape Men in the film. They were both right and both wrong from my view. This really points to the difficult balance between how much we should interfere in nature and how much we should just leave things alone. I recommend this film very highly to anyone who loves the original novel, or action/adventure stories in general. This film continues A&E's record of excellence in creating film adaptations of classic stories."
Good, but not Doyle and not Widescreen!
Charles Prepolec | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 11/03/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Note: This DVD release is not in a widescreen format as advertised, regardless of what the packaging or Amazon.com listing indicates. A&E have released this film ONLY in a full-screen (4:3) version!The recent BBC/A&E(2001 UK & 2002 US) co-production of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic dinosaur tale The Lost World is something of a mixed bag in this DVD release. While the adaptation is interesting in its own right, it is not a particularly faithful version of the classic text. Instead of being the "Boys Own" adventure tale of yesteryear it has become something of a special effects laden morality play that touches on the madness of religious zeal and makes an effort to have science triumph over sheer belief. This moral quandary is demonstrated by the inclusion of Peter Falk's character - the Rev. Theo Kerr. Not only does Kerr become a catalyst for catastrophy in this teleplay, but he also changes the tone of the entire production with his religious zealotry and stance against evolution. While the character does give the viewer the benefit of a villain to jeer, the subplot does drag down the pace of the original storyline. The inclusion of the Agnes Cluny character is less of an imposition than one would expect, particularly surprising when one considers that her inclusion is only to make the whole thing more PC for the 21st century by including a woman into the storyline. Bob Hoskins, while a talented and highly watchable actor, just isn't the robust and bombastic George Edward Challenger of the novel. Where were the outbursts of temper? The physical ejection of Malone from Challennger's home? In fact, where were any of the touches that make Challenger the specific character he is rather than just another nutty professor? A pity that Brian Blessed had not been cast in the part, for he was born to play Challenger.Strangely, top marks in the characterization field go to James Fox for his portrayal of Challenger's academic nemesis - Prof. Leo Summerlee. Fox brought both a stuffy resistance and skepticism to the earlier scenes but grew into an integral part of the team as the story progressed.
So, what about the dinosaurs? In short, they are truly splendid. While not quite the slick work of Spielberg's Jurassic Park series, the viewer will see these creature effects as palpable, living and breathing dinosaurs. Beautifully executed at every turn.The Special Edition DVD is as mixed a bag as the prodcution itself. While the box packaging states "Exclusive Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1)" it is no such thing. A&E screwed up, as this presentation is in the broadcast aspect ratio of 1.33:1. I gather that stickers will be issued to retailers indicating the packaging error/correction. This is unfortunate as the film was clearly shot in a widescreen format which makes the most of the scenic vistas to be found in the New Zealand locations. The audio on this DVD is in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo which is fairly robust, but the dense jungle settings could have been favorably enhanced by a full 5.1 Surround track. Still, not at all bad for a "Made for TV" production.The extras featured on Disc 2 are fairly straightforawd, consisting mainly of a superficial A&E behind the scenes promo - "Inside the Lost World" and a complete copy of The History Channel's "Dinosaur Secret's Revealed". The former offers a fairly brief glimpse into the workings behind the making of the film (a few shots that include a look through the camera viewfinder make it clear this was shot in a widescreen format)with comments from Hoskins and crew members. The latter gives an in-depth look into the history of paleontology and the role of dinosaurs in film. Highly entertaining and informative. The biographies and bibliographies noted as extras are so poorly executed as to be hardly worth mentioning.Overall, the double-disc special edition DVD is something of a let-down. If you've seen the television broadcast of the main film and the extras, there is nothing on this DVD set that you haven't seen before. Had this actually been a widescreen release, then it would have indeed been a "special" edition well worth the cost! Bottom line: If you caught it on television give this DVD set a miss, but if you haven't seen it before, there are much worse ways of spending 4-5 hours."
Slick, Better-Than-Average Version of Doyle's Classic Tale
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 04/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The BBC/A&E production of "The Lost World" tunred out much better than I expected, giving us slick storytelling and solid characters with good acting. THE STORY is 'basically' the same. Well, at first I was worried looking at the cover -- six people apparently looking at the dinosaurs. Six? Yes, the film, based on Conan Doyle's 1912 novel, added TWO extra characters to the original expedition team (misunderstood genius Prof. Challenger, natural-born cynic Prof. Summerlee, newsreporter Edward Malone, adventure-loving hunter Lord Roxton), which are about to reveal the secret of the plateau in the Amazon, and to prove that dinosaurs are still living there.THE NEW CHARACTERS are one zealous priest and his niece, played by Peter Falk and Elaine Cassidy respectively. They join in Professor Challenger (Bob Hoskins) and his team in the jungle, only to complicate the situation -- deadly dinosaurs, the more dangerous apemen (or the Missing Link) and the "Indians" (so they say). The addition, in fact, works for the better, getting rid of the annoying elements in the original book, like the patronizing way Doyle treated the natives in the book. And other changes done to the story are justified, but some might find the different tone in the ending (or the modernized answer to Challenger's expedition) slightly anti-climax, compared with the slient version, or Spielberg's "Lost World." SPECIAL EFFECTS are first-rate, with the convincing images of dinosaurs walking in the jungle. The fierce fight between the humans and the allosaurs is the highlight of the film though some kids find it too horrible. (And parents should be warned that there is a suggested scene of cannibalism). The location is fantastic, showing some of the scenes (like the entrance to the plateau) almost exactly as the book tells us.In spite of its length (more than 2hrs 30 mins), "The Lost World" keeps on rolling as smooth as "The Jurassic Park," and it makes you think a little about the way we meddle with the nature. It aspires to be more than just a dinosaur movie, and it succeeds well."
Top quality tv movie
Mr. T. Pace | Cobourg, Ontario Canada | 10/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Lost World (2001) is high quality. I spent four hours over two days watching this on tv with all the commercials in between. Of all the movies I've seen on tv in the past few years this is probably the most memorable.This version of The Lost World reminds me of the 1960 version, obviously due to it being based on the same book, and I knew some major points of the story and seeing them redone with a contemporary style was very rewarding. I love this movie.
It is quite modest and not full of in-your-face visual effects.
The length (given by IMDB at 2 and a half hours) is well used to develop characters and all that stuff. I just watched it for interest and because Bob Hoskins is a cool actor, and all this is my review."
A Very Good Adaptation Of A Classic Dinosaur Adventure Novel
N. HAGAN | Lynchburg. VA USA | 10/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have just watched this on DVD and I can say this is one of the two best adaptations of "The Lost World ever" (The other good adaptation is the TV series as I wrote in my other review(s)). So what if there was a packaging and advertisement error, I did not let the fact that it was in full screen take away from the entertainment value. I love this movie because it is a classic. The extra features on the bonus disk are worth looking at as well. Like the TV series, it is closer to the book than any of the past versions. Be warned; do not let the fact that dinosaurs are in this movie make you think that this is a kid's story. There is minor profanity, mild language, tobaco + alcohol use, handgun use, many deaths, and considerably high blood and gore levels. In fact it borders on getting an R rating. All in all, buy this movie because it will definatley be worth your time.
P.S. If they ever relaese a true widescreen version (if that truly is how it was originaly filmed.)I will buy it so that I can have both versions."